Riverhead Central School District bus driver Martin Doelger, right with transportation department co-director Leslie Moore. Courtesy photo

A Riverhead school bus driver saved a Pulaski Street School student with the Heimlich maneuver Friday afternoon.

The student was choking on a doughnut right afer she boarded the bus to go home, according to a press release issued by the school district today.

Bus driver Martin Doelger said he just did what he had to do, according to the release.

“The incident occurred as the sixth-graders filed onto Doelger’s bus after school. Almost all students had boarded when one student approached him with a horrified look on her face. Doelger said he quickly realized that she was choking on a doughnut. He used the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge the food and called out to a teacher to get help,” the release said.

“I’m just glad it worked out and she is okay,” Doelger said.

The board of education will honor Doelger at its meeting tomorrow night.

“We are so grateful for the quick action that Martin took,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Aurelia Henriquez said. “He truly deserves to be recognized.”

Correction: The press release issued by the school district misidentified the student’s school; she attends the Pulaski Street School, not the middle school.

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.